Bug Big, Alive


Whether or not you choose to watch all six minutes of this video of a Lord Howe Island walking stick hatching from its egg (I did, twice… though I wish it had Galaxie 500’s “Another Day” as its soundtrack), please read the story of how the egg came to be at the Melbourne Zoo in the first place. It’s incredibly exciting! Almost six inches long, with thick exoskeletons that can bring their weight to 25 grams, Lord Howe Island walking sticks, or “tree lobsters” as they’re sometimes called, are the heaviest non-flying insects in the world. They live together in mated pairs and when they sleep, the males drape three legs over the females in a protective gesture. And they were thought to be extinct for 80 years. I don’t want to spoil the end of one of my favorite books for anyone who might not have yet read it, but I will say that this story actually brings up some of the same very powerful emotions as does the last page of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.